Sri Lanka Nov 08 industrial exports rise; tea, rubber shipments fall

Jan 07, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s exports in November 2008 rose 11.6 percent to 645 million dollars from a year ago, led by industrial exports, especially garments, but tea and rubber export earnings slumped, the central bank said.

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Total imports fell during the month, as a result of which the trade deficit contracted for the first time in 2008, by 22.9 percent to 332.6 million dollars in November 2008, the bank said in a statement on the economy’s external performance.

But the cumulative deficit in the trade balance expanded to 5,504 million dollars during the first eleven months of the year, compared to the deficit of 3,338 million dollars for the same period the previous year.

“The low import growth witnessed during the last two months is expected to prevail throughout a greater part of 2009,” the statement said.

It said exports grew notwithstanding the adverse circumstances brought about by the global economic downturn, led by an 18.7 percent growth in the industrial exports, particularly the textiles and garments exports, which grew by 22.6 percent.

The bank said 41 percent of textile